Nuts

**All videos are done by Dr. Michael Greger M.D. to learn more about Dr. Greger please visit his website or his YouTube channel by click here.

Many diabetics are put out by the belief that diabetes impedes a person from consuming snack foods in the same manner as the average person. To some extent, this is true. The need to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels certainly prohibits diabetics from the average pig-out session. Still, that is not to say that there are no alternatives to junk food which can be consumed as a healthy snack by those suffering from type 2 diabetes. For instance, nuts are a source of healthy fats that can help to keep blood glucose levels stable. When eaten in moderation, they can even aid those seeking to lose weight.

Healthy Fats and Nutrients

Saturated fats are a major enemy of the patient who suffers from adult-onset diabetes. Consumption of too many unhealthy fats not only helps lead to the onset of diabetes in the first place, but it can create a proliferation of symptoms when taken to extreme levels. Luckily, the fats contained in most nuts are unsaturated and can actually improve health through the nutrients they offer.
First, nuts can help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while raising good cholesterol (HDL). This has positive implications for cardiovascular health, which can be negatively affected by the onset of diabetes. Nuts also generally contain a healthy dose of vitamin E, which helps inhibit the buildup of arterial plaque. By eliminating plaque buildup, this nutrient helps the overall blood flow.

Most importantly, many types of nuts (especially walnuts) are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are known for their cardiovascular benefits. Not only can they assist in the lowering of cholesterol, but they can also prevent symptoms of heart disease. Omega-3s are believed to be one of the key components in effective prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.

Weight Loss

Since nuts raise good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol and contain healthier fats than the average processed snack food, they can be useful in weight management. Obesity is a prime factor in the occurrence of adult-onset diabetes, so weight loss is important not only to the treatment of diabetes but to its prevention as well. Studies have shown that consumption of nuts by patients suffering from adult-onset diabetes has led to a regulation of glycemic levels. The decrease in blood glucose alleviates blood pressure and makes it easier to engage in a proper exercise regimen.

Nuts are also a major source of dietary fibers. Like many of the other nutrients associated with various types of nuts, dietary fibers can help in the regulation of blood sugar and the management of healthy cholesterol levels. Dietary fiber can also help to manage the digestive system, maintaining regular metabolic and digestive rates and thereby promoting weight loss. Fiber consumption is also believed to lead to decreased hunger, so a handful of nuts may feel like a much more filling snack than a less healthy snack of similar portion size.

Conclusion

Consumption of nuts can help to improve the circulatory, cardiovascular, metabolic and digestive systems due to a host of nutrients, fibers, and healthy unsaturated fats. This does not mean that consumption of heavy quantities will not still lead to weight gain; this is a risk with any food product. On the plus side, since the fiber content in nuts can lead them to feel more filling than they actually are, they make a great snack for those seeking to limit their overall food intake. This can help promote weight loss, which is vital to the prevention and/or management of type 2 diabetes.

Author: hilley
Tags